programme

Explorations in Concept and Media IV: Curatorial Investigation

Home/ Explorations in Concept and Media IV: Curatorial Investigation
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2VA1144

Semester and Year Offered: Winter, 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Santhosh S.

Email of course coordinator: santhoshs@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: The course is open only to the MA Visual Art students who have completed the three core Visual Art courses, namely Explorations in Concept and Media I, II and III

Course Objectives/Description:

This course would analyse the complexities involved in cultural production and dissemination, and the function of curatorial practice in the public sphere today. A critique of contemporary curatorial practices will also be initiated, both in terms of conceptual integrity as well as in terms of pragmatic feasibility. In short, part of the course will highlight the necessity for conceptual rigour and raise critical questions around how to frame the art object, keeping in mind the complex social processes that produce cultural artefacts.

This course also includes the curatorial practicum. The modalities and character of practical components of this course will vary according to the instructors/curators and the nature of curatorial projects undertaken by each batch of students. The general emphasis would be on artistic curation (or the idea of artist-curator) and to encourage students to curate their own and their peers’ work and their immediate surroundings on a regular basis in order to evolve both practical as well as critical insights regarding curatorial practices.

This course attempts to introduce the basics of curatorial practices both in terms of theoretical and practical considerations. This would enable students not only to organize works of art in a conceptual framework, but also to think through processes of selection, modes of display, spatial and temporal dynamics, etc. in terms of the ways in which meanings are generated. This course also briefly deals with the practical and managerial skills required in exhibition making. It tries to integrate concepts, innovation and technique in a productive manner and explores the dialectical relationship between these categories.

The specific objective of the practical component of the course will be to guide students to engage with the questions of framing their own work in the larger contexts of exhibitionary orders.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course, the students will be able to:

  • develop skills to engage with the theoretical and practical dimensions of curatorial practices.
  • identify and distinguish various theoretical currents within curatorial discourses.
  • critically engage with the discourses around museological and contemporary curatorial practices and mark the distinctions and intersections between these practices through developing interventional strategies..
  • acquire managerial skills in terms of budgeting, preparation of catalogue and exhibition notes, usage of technical equipments and so on required for exhibition making.
  • develop strategies regarding the questions of framing their own work in the larger contexts of exhibitionary orders.
  • understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of exhibition making and the way in which curatorial practice enables a new technologies of knowledge production thereby producing concrete work-plans for critical and creative engagements.

 

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: A Brief Critical History of Curatorial Practices (Week 1 -5): A series of illustrated lectures would initiate an analysis of the history of curatorial practices in general, and a detailed study on the nature of curatorial practices over the last 30–40 years. Special emphasis will be provided to thoroughly analyzing various major Indian curatorial projects that have been envisaged in the recent past. These lectures will also interrogate the nature of curatorial practices in India from different discursive vantage points such as region, ethnicity, gender, class, caste, sexualities, race, disabilities and other forms of marginalities. Finally, these lectures will introduce the recent theoretical developments in the field of the curatorial.

Module 2: Current Curatorial Challenges and the Public Sphere: Theory-cum-Practical Course (Week 6-14)

This part of the course will highlight the necessity for conceptual rigour and raise critical questions around how to frame the art object, keeping in mind the complex social processes that produce cultural artefacts. This module facilitates the conceptualization of the final semester display in terms of designing the catalogue and posters, catalogue content as well as identification of various exhibitionary spaces and contexts which enhance the display of works.

This module may also include the curatorial practicum, wherein the students initiate some collaborative projects which engage with issues of social concern. Students may collaborate on a curatorial venture where they are assigned to conceptualize, research, and organize an exhibition that addresses the locale, the politics of space, notions of public and private, urban dynamics, questions of governmentality, and structures of the public sphere. This module specifically explores the possibilities of curating public art projects with a nuanced understanding of the complex fabric of the public sphere.

The modalities and character of the practical components of this course will vary according to the instructors/curators and the nature of curatorial projects undertaken by each batch of students. The general emphasis would be on artistic curation (or the idea of artist-curator) and to encourage the students to curate their own and their peers’ work and their immediate surroundings on a regular basis in order to evolve both practical as well as critical insights regarding curatorial practices.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Mid-term essay on curatorial theory and history by the eighth week : 20%
  • Classroom and Project Participation (each student need to undertake at least two practical projects and develop exhibitionary situations, which have direct imprints on their own artistic practices: 20%
  • Project proposals and research (this includes concept notes for exhibition, a work plan, budgetary requirements and materials that support the background research): 20%
  • Final Curation (this involves putting together of the display along with the other classmates. The display is assessed through their practical and conceptual ability to execute the exhibition, attention to details, ability to work in groups/as a community, ability to negotiate and mobilize logistics, ability to interact with the viewer along with a reflective writing on the exhibition process, execution and feedbacks from the viewers): 40%

 

Reading List:

  • Barker, E. (ed.) Contemporary Cultures of Display, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999.
  • Carbonell, B. (ed.) Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts, Blackwell, Morden, 2004.
  • Elsner, John and Roger Cardinal eds., The Cultures of Collecting, Reaktion Books, London, 1994
  • Newhouse, V. Art and the Power of Placement, Monacelli Press, New York, 2005
  • Preziosi, Donald. Brain of the Earth's Body: Art, Museums and the Phantasms of Modernity, Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press, 2003
  • Pollock, Griselda and Joyce Zemans eds., Museums After Modernism, Boston: Blackwell, 2007
  • Preziozi, Donald. Grasping the World: The Idea of the Museum, Ashgate, 2004
  • Rouette, G. Exhibitions: A Practical Guide to Small Museums and Galleries, Museums Australia, 2007.
  • Vergo, P. The New Museology, Reaktion Books, London, 1989.